The new season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen, with state championships kicking off around Brazil this week. As always, my excitement at the return of futebol is tempered somewhat by the nature of such tournaments; the mix of larger sides and tiny provincial outfits generally ensures a surfeit of goals, but little in the way of genuine competition. Meanwhile, in Peru, the U20 seleção are set to start their South American Youth Championship campaign against Paraguay tomorrow.
With this hectic schedule (many of the state championships follow different formats, and some will have midweek fixtures) in mind, coverage on this site will, until the start of the Brasileirão in May, be organised into weekly round-ups. Every Friday, I will survey the events from the two biggest state championships (the Campeonato Carioca and the Paulistão), as well as picking out the best of rest from the Campeonato Gaúcho, the Campeonato Mineiro, and others. These round-ups will also include the U20 tournament, and the early rounds of the Copa do Brasil.
My hope is that by posting every Friday, the reader (and I) will be able to keep abreast of what can be a rather confusing and inpenetrable period in the Brazilian football calender. It does of course mean that coverage of a weekend's games will only arrive a few days later, but I think this is preferable to me posting a slew of posts (e.g. 'Paulistão Saturday round-up,' 'Carioca Tuesday evening round-up and two U20 matches' etc) throughout the week.
Look out, then, for the first of these round-ups in Friday 21st, which will include coverage of the opening rounds of the Paulistão and Carioca, as well as reaction from the Brazil U20 squad's first two fixtures. Até lá!